The Miami Marlins will be without Rafael Furcal and Jeff Baker for at least a few days as both nurse minor injuries, according to MLB.com.
Furcal missed the entire 2013 season while with the St. Louis Cardinals due to surgery on his throwing elbow. Now, he is attempting to come back with a new team and a new position. If he is healthy, Furcal will be at second base on Opening Night for the Marlins – though he does not have much big league experience at the position. That lack of experience at second base could lead to errors and misplays by the veteran. But the health part of the equation could end up being just as big of a factor now that Furcal has strained his left hamstring.
The Marlins are likely to keep Furcal seated on the bench until he is fully healthy to avoid a catastrophic tear of the hamstring. With less than three weeks to go in the spring, this will also give Furcal less time to work on his defensive game at second base which could lead to some difficulties out of the gate in April. Besides his defense, Furcal is set to lead off for Miami and make some noise on the base paths. His aging legs will need to be in tip-top shape if Furcal is going to set the table and move into scoring position for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton.
Baker strained his left quad which could keep him from getting enough at-bats to be ready for Opening Night depending on the severity of the strain. Baker, who signed a two-year contract this offseason, will serve in a utility role for the Marlins. For the most part, the veteran will likely fill in at first base and third base while also seeing pinch-hit opportunities. His career success against lefthanded pitching should factor into when manager Mike Redmond calls his name each day.
Ed Lucas, Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich are the likely beneficiaries of extra playing time in the near future due to these injuries, MLB.com reported. The trio is competing for a utility infielder role on the roster.